It's important that you know what to do about monitor flickering. While it may seem grand to say that, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that long-term work on computers can cause problems with our health, most obviously our eyesight. And we only get one pair of eyes to last us our whole lives.
Monitor flickering can be a contributory factor to issues such as eye fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision. So if you are starting to detect a flicker on your screen, it's important to do something about it before it becomes a problem. Here's what you can do.
How To Fix Monitor Flickering
If you do have a flickering display, there are several different things worth checking, to try to resolve the situation.
Check Your Display Drivers
One potential fix is to update your display drivers. To do this, complete the following steps, as outlined by Microsoft:
- Start your PC in Safe Mode, then select and hold (or right-click) Start and select Device Manager.
- Expand the Display adapters section, select and hold (or right-click) the listed adapter, then select Uninstall device. Select Attempt to remove the driver for this device, then select Uninstall and restart your PC.
- After your PC restarts, press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. If that doesn't work, select Start > Settings.
- From Settings, select Windows Update > Check for updates, and install any available updates.
Roll Back Your Display Driver
If the problem only arose after a Windows update, you can try rolling back your display driver. To do this:
- Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager from the list of results.
- Select the arrow to expand Display adapters.
- Under Display adapters, right-click the adapter, then select Properties.
- Select the Driver tab, and then select Roll Back Driver > Yes.
- Restart your device.
This only works if the Roll Back Driver is actually available. If it isn't available, this means there isn't a previous driver to roll back to. Which means you won't be able to complete this process.
Check Your Cables
If you can, try swapping the cables you have connected to your monitor, in case the fault lies with the connection. For example, a broken or loose connection could easily be responsible for causing your monitor to flicker.
So try a different cable. Or, if you don't have another cable you can use, check that the cable is properly plugged in, and also look for any possible damage.
Check Your Monitor Refresh Rate
The refresh rate on your monitor tells you how often the screen image is refreshed every second. If the setting is too low, it can lead to flickering.
You can try to change this by going to Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display. This will then show you what options you have for changing your refresh rate. 60Hz is a very common base setting. But you may find that increasing the refresh rate will help to reduce flickering.
- Read More: Best Budget 4K Monitor 2022
Check For App Updates
If updating your display drivers doesn't work, then it's possible that an incompatible app is causing the problem. So your next step is to check for any outstanding updates for your apps.
If this doesn't resolve the problem, consider uninstalling any apps that you think might be linked to the problem. Delete one at a time, and restart your device to see whether the problem is resolved by removing each app.
You can reinstall any apps that aren't to blame.
Test A Different Monitor
Much like with testing cables, this is only possible if you have another monitor you can call upon. But this will help identify whether flickering is an issue with the monitor itself, or not. If you test a different monitor and the flickering is still present, then that suggests it isn't a monitor issue.
On the other hand, if the new monitor is working just fine, then the finger of blame points squarely in one direction. If you do need a new monitor, then our guide to the best monitors is a great starting point.
Why Is My Monitor Flickering?
Given the wide range of potential solutions, it's clear that there are lots of different reasons why you may find that your monitor is flickering. These can probably be summarised as follows:
Hardware faults, most obviously in terms of a problem with the monitor itself. But this could also be caused by a problem with the cable. Or, it's even possible that your graphics card is to blame. It may need a clean, or it may have overheated.
And on the other hand, software issues, such as problems with the display drivers or incompatible apps, can also be responsible.
It's very difficult to diagnose the issue without doing some checks. So follow the tips we've mentioned, and you'll be a lot closer to resolving your screen flickering problems. And that will go some way to reducing the risk of eye strain, headaches, and other unwanted ailments.